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Inside the Water Plant: Park Rapids water treatment facility up and running

The inside of the water treatment facility includes a series of pipes for water to go through as part of the treatment process.

By Anna Erickson

Inside the city of Park Rapids’ new water treatment facility is an intricate series of pipes and equipment twisting back and forth.

Park Rapids has had water quality concerns for many years and the hope is water treatment will be the solution.

“It’s long overdue,” city employee Dean Christofferson said of the facility.

The treatment plant is located near Frank White Education Center and the northwest water tower.

One obstacle in getting a water plant built has been funding. The city was able to receive help from several sources, though.

City treasurer Angela Brumbaugh said Park Rapids received a $600,000 Small Cities Development grant, $818,000 from a Minnesota Public Facilities Authority drinking forgiveness grant and a $1.2 million Public Facilities Authority loan with a 1.597 percent interest rate.

Increasing nitrate levels, along with high iron and manganese levels, necessitated the treatment facility.

So far, Christofferson has been seeing good results. The plant has been up and running about three weeks.

Christofferson stops by the plant each day to test the water. The data collected is sent to the state.

Backwashing is done once or twice a week to treat the water. It takes about half an hour and goes through several steps: isolation, drain down, air wash, purge, refill, restratification and repressurization.

The end result is clean water.

“It’s removing a fair amount of the iron and manganese,” he said. “We’re also cautiously optimistic that the nitrate levels will stay low.”

The system uses an automatic computer system to perform the flushing. Christofferson still needs to stop by to monitor the water, though.

The city continues to treat the water with chlorine and fluoride, which is required by the state.

“The water is better than it has ever been,” Christofferson said.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561